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« Studio 60: Warm-up act | Main | Chris Farley scores a hat trick of romantic failure »


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"Suzanne! Tarps over everything!"


Commercial break: New Bond, old music. Good.


Amanda Peet ... that gives me flasbacks to Pulp Fiction.


Amanda Peet confusing Fortress of Solitude with Dome of Pleasure? Pushing.


Hey, the cast member's mom is played by Earl's mom!


And the joke about the father offering his successful comedian son money? Stolen! From Seinfeld.


I just realized that Sarah Paulson reminds me of one of the nuns from "The Trouble With Angels". I half expect her to quit her gig on the show and give it up for her higher calling.
Lance, I thought this was Shakes' gig... why are you blogging in the comments???


Ok, either Sorkin is cribbing straight from Jay Mohr's book or he has Mohr on the staff. The sexy chick's getting "scolded" for getting laughs that cause a sketch to go long is something that happened to Mohr. Except that Lorne Michaels really was pissed at him for not cutting off the laughs to keep the show on time.

blue girl

Mannion! Did you just want to be an obsessive commenter on your own blog?

Ellen's great in that AmX commercial, isn't she? Must be one great is argyle. The line was better than that -- I just can't remember it.

Why did the show have to slam Ohio? Why-o-why-o-why-o?

I love the 30-Something guy. He's so cool.

I'm trying to be positive in my comments tonight, so maybe The Blonde will watch the show -- but I don't believe Matt needs to get Harriet out of his mind by a hypnotist. I was hoping the whole thing would be over, like a bad dream, by tonight's episode.

I'll try not to say anymore about that.



I feel like I'm a customer at a restaurant where I usually tend bar. This is great! I can heckle and order people around! Just like you do when you come here!

James Wolcott

I'm not sure who's more clueless, the three ding-a-lings with the globular breasts who can't grasp the concept of scriptwriting, the time-warp parents who belong in a wheat field, or Eli Wallach in his futile special-guest Emmy-award bid.

James Wolcott

"Your little brother is standing in the middle of Afghanistan!"

Now that's some guilt-trippin'.


Welcome, Mr W.

My mind's still reeling at the fact that Brad Whitford's character instantly recognizes the names of the Hollywood 10.

James Wolcott

I'm sick of the Hollywood 10. They had their shot at stardom. Give some new kids a break.

blue girl

Ok, I was going to make a joke about how us parents in this here red state of Ohio do remember our kids names, For Pete's Sake! But, that would be in bad taste now because they've brought up the war.

Shallow comment: Amanda Peet is really pretty, I think.

Another shallow comment: Mr. Wolcott, globular are correct there! It was hard to miss 'em.

I don't have any deep comments yet. After all, I am from Ohio. I'll try to think of one during the next segment. Or maybe the one after that. Might take awhile.

blue girl

You guys, I have to run downstairs to watch and then upstairs to blog -- I keep missing things -- how did they find out that guy's entire WWII history so fast? Did they google him? How'd they know all that?


well, if they made it a cleveland joke then it might be funny. Columbus? When did anyone make a columbus joke.

so far not bad, but I am forwarding every scene involving Harriet, although she LOOKS a bit better. Still can't stand her talking.

hmm, why do commercials look better when in a Sorkin show? perhaps they should try product placement.

James Wolcott

I don't know. I had to lay my head down on my desk after the line about the "Paris Opera of comedy."

James Wolcott

My guess is that dad won't find Who's on First funny, though it's fortunate they just happened to have a 78 lp of the routine hanging around the Paris Opera building.


Shakes, you win your 10 smackers. Now you have to buy the beer.

blue girl

if they made it a cleveland joke then it might be funny.

Charlie! Pshaw!

SS, you were right about the baseball. You know, I've dealt with assistant marketing managers at non-profits who were much, much tougher than Amanda Peet's character. Shouldn't she be kind of a strong personality being the president and all? She's the president, right? Shouldn't she be all mean and kind of Republican-like?


what's a lp?


I'm real disappointed to find out Clifford Odets named names. I didn't know that.

Shakespeare's Sister

the three ding-a-lings with the globular breasts who can't grasp the concept of scriptwriting

I'm glad these boobly rubes got covered in comments. Since I'm a brokeass mofo with no wireless and no laptop, I was running up and down the stairs during commercial breaks--and I found it wholly impossible to quickly summarize my outsized disdain for their irritating presence.

James Wolcott

Gee, the parallels between the old Philco show and this one were sure SUBTLY HIGHLIGHTED. Eli Wallach mentions writing certain sketches just to impress this woman he had a crush on and Harriet materializes in the background, betrayed by a signed baseball.

And maybe I missed something when I investigated what one of our cats was chewing, but that Steven Weber outburst about subtitles, the Sudan, and the UN seemed to fly out of nowhere, as if the writers had forgotten to write him any scenes and this was a last-minute rush job so that he wouldn't feel neglected.

Shakespeare's Sister

Harriet materializes in the background, betrayed by a signed baseball

Betrayed by the Anti-Matt, now she must haunt the Matt-Matt.

michael gee

OK, that's five tries I've given this show, and despite the fact I adore looking at Amanda Peet, that's all it gets. When this former sportswriter guesses the arc of each storyline and half the dialogue well in advance, that's snooty hack work, not quality television. Oh, yeah, one more thing. If being a stand-up act who gets no laughs is the ideal training for comedy writing on a hit show, why would it be hard to find new writers in Los Angeles?

blue girl

I was running up and down the stairs during commercial breaks

SS! Me too! I am sweating over here!

Mr. W, you're right again! What was with Steven Weber's obnoxious U.N. monologue, chasing cute West Wing guy around that table?

(Ok. You didn't say cute West Wing guy. That's all me.)


Anthony Cartouche

I'm from Ohio and I am here to tell you it deserves to have jokes made about it. Nothing but a bunch of cracker-ass rubes in this state once you leave Cuyahoga County.


see, cleveland jokes are ALWAYS funny.

Shakespeare's Sister

SS! Me too! I am sweating over here!

Let's go for a martini, yes?


I want our own wrap party.

Shakespeare's Sister

I want our own wrap party.

Good idea. But who's going to liveblog it?

blue girl

Yes, SS! Let's go! Tom Watson's buying!

I can heckle and order people around! Just like you do when you come here!

You know.

I resemble that remark.



Who'll live blog our wrap party, Sis?

Why, Aaron Sorkin, of course.

blue girl

I want our own wrap party.

I would have it at my house. But no one would come. Cuz you know. I live in Cleveland.

Anthony Cartouche

So I do, blue girl. I'll be there. I'll even bring my own baseball.

Shakespeare's Sister

I'll even bring my own baseball

Could you bring an orange painted to look like a baseball? Those are hot.

Anthony Cartouche

I don't have any oranges. I do have an exploding baseball around here someplace, though.


Can someone describe the seen where Jack goes off on Danny? My cable conveniently died on that one channel for 1:30 at the end of the show. There's no way I'm downloading the whole thing just to catch one scene at the end...


"Why do I like this show?  I ask the same question every week, because every week I gripe to Mr. Shakes about all the things I think are too much or too little..."

I do exactly the same with the Big Greek at my house - running down my "notes" after each episode. I want to pull things back, push them over there...yes, please dump the globulars for three equally absurd but more plausible + interesting women...Oh no, don't put Harriet in that last geezer scene! Less is more, Aaron - surely you know that. But I still like it. I'm so tired of forensics and terror and hysteria. I want to spend an hour with decent people working together in an admirable pursuit, while dealing with life's mundane issues. You know...something vaguely familiar, only snappier.

I would have agreed that the Dad was cardboard if I hadn't just talked to my own father today and - based on how that went - it would mean I'd have to call him cardboard, too. I find myself wanting Jordan's character to have more authority and distance (and a greater range of nonverbal gestures), while remembering - drat! - that in my own experience as a writer, studio execs have been equally casual and goofy and revealing. And stupidly drunk, a la Jack's outburst.

I'm in the Shakes camp, assuming this thing is in the process of finding its own best rhythm, hoping it makes it home in time to last a while. I'm rooting for it.

velvet goldmine

I slept through the whole thing. Damn sinus infection. Anyone have it on tape? I'll prepay!

Anthony Cartouche

Go to and watch the episode there, velvet. If your PC's processor is kewl enough you can even download the episode

Dave MB

I thought this episode was very good in spots but uneven overall. The Tom and Simon plots worked nicely, but the bimbos were simply annoying (such women presumably exist in LA but wouldn't their scenes have been much more interesting if these three weren't such pure stereotypes?) and the Eli Wallach plot had too many infodumps. And was anyone else made uncomfortable by the (otherwise very strong) Cal 's fanby gushing over Eli's war record? I got the point, that Eli was named "un-American" after making huge sacrifices for his country, but my understanding is that veterans tend not to like discussion of the details of their service with non-veterans. (Cf. Toby with the Korean War vets in TWW -- he had the same obsessive knowledge about what they had done but to them he just quietly indicated respect.) I thought it was a departure from Cal's usual interpersonal skills. (BTW, the real Eli Wallach served in WWII but not in combat as far as Wikipedia says.)

Sorkin can get along for a while exposing a few character's backstory to us each week, but at some point isn't he going to need more of a plot? Now that Harriet is dumping her anti-Matt, I guess the next logical thing is for Matt to find himself attracted to an anti-Harriet (and the biimbos don't qualify).

velvet goldmine

Anthony, Thanks but my computer can barely handle this web site. Youtube is out of the question, and downloading episodes is out of the stratosphere. However, a very kind uncle just sent my kids a "Smallville" episode they'd missed, so maybe the gods are with me and he's a Sorkin fan.

Or I could wait for the rerun, like the pioneers did.

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